This tag is for all questions about outdoor navigation with maps, compasses or mobile devices equipped with sensors for satellite based positioning systems.

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10
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you locate the “North Star”?

What if it's night and you want to find north? How do you locate the North Star in the night sky?
4
votes
2answers
711 views

How do I find north using a watch?

I've heard this is possible but I'm not sure on the details. Can someone elaborate?
8
votes
3answers
472 views

How do I read a topographic map?

When navigating in the backcountry, you'll usually bring a topographic map that shows the terrain so you can tell if there will be steep slopes or cliffs that might make the route difficult. A ...
11
votes
1answer
218 views

How precise is a pedometer for estimating on a backpacking trip?

In practice, how precise is a pedometer for estimating your progress on a trail? For example, if I'm to hike 10 miles, how far should I expect to be from the 10 miles marker? Is there data comparing ...
4
votes
2answers
104 views

GPS navigation device or app that allows entry of UTM coordinates?

I would like to start being a little more active by getting outdoors more. My state offers a "water guzzler" program that puts water in remote locations for wildlife. They also publish a large atlas ...
8
votes
4answers
348 views

What format should I use to report my location to emergency responders?

Suppose I am out in the wilderness and an emergency arises. I have an accurate fix on my location (from GPS, map and compass, astronomical observation, etc...). I manage to get in touch with ...
7
votes
3answers
299 views

Depth Perception in the Mountains

I'm not from the mountains. Every time I go into the mountains I lose all depth perception. I can't tell by looking if a peak is 100 meters or a 1,000 meters above me. I have to stare hard and look ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Orienteering skill organized trainings in Germany?

Are there any schoolings/trainings for orienteering skills in Germany? I hike during weekends, but mostly using GPS (geocaching) or using trails, so there's no much opportunity to fully train ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Can I use satellite images as hiking maps, how?

I tried to find topographic maps of my area in Brazil, but the best I could find is some 1:50000 map from 1983. My biggest need for a map (besides not getting lost) is avoiding private properties and ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

Learning to find north using moon phases

How to learn to find north using moon phases? I'm looking for easy-to-remember rule of thumb, at best some simple graphic. It's quite trivial by full moon. Since full moon is in direct opposition to ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Are the orienteering marches popular in Germany?

I'm engaged in orienteering marches, which differ from sport orienteering: there is the time limit, where finishing before time gives no advantage to the participant, and the center is put on the ...
3
votes
3answers
82 views

Identifying named peaks from the summit of a north-american peak

Is there a good resource for quickly identifying peaks that are visible on the summit of a north-american peak? Currently I use a topographical map and painstakingly identify each individual peak. I ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Thinking about a road trip out West

My wife and I are thinking of taking a road trip from northwest Ohio to "out west" - Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, etc. I've never been farther west than Indiana, so it's a whole new ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

What do unusual waymarks in France mean?

I recognize the official system for French waymarks of Grand Randonees and local paths like shown here: but I've also seen large white rectangles with a horizontal red line in the middle. They are ...
31
votes
11answers
2k views

How can you navigate without a compass or GPS

What are the ways you can navigate when you don't have a compass or a GPS? For example how can you tell which way is north.
7
votes
3answers
512 views

Does Moss only grow on the North side of trees?

Well does it? Or does it only grow on one side? Or does it grow only on the side further from the equator? Is there any truth to this old adage?
6
votes
2answers
608 views

How to estimate current speed and direction at sea?

In an episode in the tv series "I shouldn't be alive", crew members of a yacht racing team got caught in a violent storm and found themselves stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after their boat capsized. ...
13
votes
2answers
498 views

How to estimate distance in sea

While kayaking or swimming out in the open waters, it is quite important to be able to judge distances accurately before attempting to get from one point to another, such as from island to island. ...
10
votes
3answers
245 views

Group protocol should the group become separated

A small group (2-10 people total) is travelling in a wilderness area. For whatever reason a person or a couple get separated. What is the best strategy for the lost ones? What is the best strategy to ...
5
votes
1answer
312 views

Is a compass generally accurate in only one hemisphere, or both? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Navigational gear worldwide I'm not that well travelled (never been outside of Europe!) but at some point I'd love to head elsewhere to perhaps hike somewhere a bit more ...
7
votes
3answers
148 views

Navigational gear worldwide

Is there any difference in navigational equipment between the northern and southern hemisphere? We live in the northern hemisphere but will be emigrating to the southern in the next few weeks. We'll ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

How can you navigate / determine your location in thick fog?

Are there any good hints, tips and ways you can use to navigate around and find your location in thick fog (apart from a GPS)?
8
votes
1answer
94 views

Magnetic deviation at either pole

I know that the magnetic north is not exactly at the polar north, so when hiking very close to the Northern Pole, you have to take the difference into account. This got me thinking: Is this also a ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

If I lose my compass, what is the easiest way to identify and follow a heading? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can you navigate without a compass or GPS Obviously we all carry a compass and a map when we go trekking, but if I lose them but know I need to get back to my car ...
16
votes
4answers
577 views

What should I do when I'm lost?

What should I do when I get disoriented or lost? How can I find help or make myself easier to find? This is a general question to do when lost in the wilderness, whether it is a meadow or mountain. ...